Senators coach Travis Green adds Mike Yeo, Nolan Baumgartner to bench

Article content

Travis Green will have no shortage of experience by his side next season.

Appointed as the head coach of the Ottawa Senators last month, the 53-year-old Green confirmed Tuesday morning his coaching staff will include former National Hockey League head coach Mike Yeo along with longtime assistant Nolan Baumgartner.

As Postmedia reported Saturday, former Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson will return as an assistant on Green’s staff along with Ben Sexton, video coach Mike King and goalie coach Justin Peters.

Though Green would have had the final say on his staff, all of the candidates would have met with Steve Staios, the club’s president of hockey operations and general manager, before decisions were made.

Advertisement 2

Article content

“I’m very excited to work with this group,” Green said in a statement. “I think it represents a great combination of knowledge, coaching experience, youthfulness and playing experience, all of which are integral components to a coaching staff’s success.

“I’m of firm belief that we’ll be able to proactively collaborate as a group in the name of team success while establishing a winning culture.”

Many believe bringing in Yeo is a strong hire.

Yeo, 50, who had stints as a head coach with the Minnesota Wild, St Louis Blues and Philadelphia Flyers, left an assistant coaching position with the Vancouver Canucks last week.

He was in charge of the Canucks penalty-killing units last season and would likely have a similar role with the Senators.

Yeo only was offered a one-year deal by the Canucks, but we’re told he agreed to a three-year contract with the Senators.


We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Baumgartner, 48, also is a new face in Ottawa. He was an assistant coach with the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose, but spent four years with the Canucks when Green was the head coach there.

The expectation is Baumgartner will run the club’s defence and he started his coaching career in 2017 with the AHL’s Utica Comets under Green.

Advertisement 3

Article content

The fan base will also be happy that Alfredsson has decided to return for his first full season behind the bench.

The most prolific player in franchise history, Alfredsson went behind the bench in December to assist interim head coach Jacques Martin after D.J. Smith was fired. He held several discussions with Green, Staios and owner Michael Andlauer before deciding to return.

Though Alfredsson told reporters close to the end of the 2023-24 season that he had caught the coaching bug during his stint as an Ottawa assistant, he was noncommittal about returning to the same role next season because he wanted to leave up to the next head coach.

Green said the day he was hired that he understood it was important to have legacy players involved with the organization. A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Alfredsson has been able to pass along tips to players on an approach to have success.

“Daniel’s wealth of hockey knowledge, his mindset as it relates to a standard we want to incorporate and his understanding of what it takes to win make him an invaluable compliment to both our staff and to our team,” Green said.

Advertisement 4

Article content

Sexton, 33, an Ottawa native, joined Smith’s staff last season after spending three seasons with the club’s AHL affiliate in Belleville. He was on the bench when Smith was fired, but will likely return to being an eye-in-the-sky.

King is well-respected in league circles and just finished a stint as video coach for Team USA at the IIHF world championship held in Prague. He will head into his sixth season in his role with Ottawa.

Peters, who was hired by the Senators to be the goalie coach in Belleville in 2021, was promoted to the Ottawa job in January.

He has his work cut out for him because the club’s goaltending was a disaster last season with Joonas Korpisalo and Anton Forsberg not playing up to expectations. They were amongst the worst goalies in the NHL last season.

The belief is the Senators will make at least one change with their tandem next season and Staios will be trying to upgrade that position heading into training camp in September.

Staios is pleased to have this piece of business completed.

Recommended from Editorial

Advertisement 5

Article content

“We’re pleased to welcome both Nolan and Mike as new members of the Senators’ organization,” Staios said. “In addition to Daniel, Ben, Justin and Mike’s respective return, we’re confident that this coaching staff represents a strong blend of experience and one that will provide Travis with high-level support while they collectively lead our team going forward.”

Now that the staff is in place, the focus will turn to Staios.

Not only does he have to upgrade the club’s goaltending, he also has to find a way to upgrade the defence and get more depth at forward because the Senators are a long way from the making the playoffs.

June is a busy month on the NHL calendar because teams start gearing up for the NHL draft and free agency. @sungarrioch

Article content

Source link